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Source: (consider it) Thread: Was Fortescue ever followed to the letter?
(S)pike couchant
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As a general rule, whenever I have a role in planning services, I try to stick as closely as possible to the first edition (1918) of Fortescue's 'Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described'. I think that a strict and peculiar observation of every detail contained therein is the best way of avoiding the liturgical rot that has set in the ensuing decades. It irked me to discover, therefore, that, during a recent service of vespers of the BVM in the presence of a greater prelate*, the crucifix laid out for the bishop to kiss was not covered by a white cloth, as Fortescue says that it should be. This is a minor detail; but, on the other hand, it's an easy thing to get right and I'm surprise that we didn't, given that our sacristan has similar views to my own. I guess we both just hadn't read closely enough or didn't remember.

My question, though, is this: has Fortescue ever been followed to the letter anywhere in the world? Specifically, some of his suggestions are not terribly realistic. For instance, his instructions for a Pontifical High Mass require the presence not only of 15 servers (which shouldn't pose a difficulty for any healthy parish) but also no fewer than five priests, all of whom must be canons. He then assumes that there are additional clergy in quire, although this is certainly not a requirement. The closest I've seen to this being met was at Bourne Street, but even there only the two deacons of honour were actually canons.

I know that Fortescue drew heavily on earlier liturgical guidebooks, most of which assumed that their readers were based in the city of Rome itself, but were such resources ever really commonly available even in Rome?

To take another example, all liturgical manuals assume that Terce is sung immediately before mass and Sext immediately afterward. Now, there is no reason why this should be difficult, but the fact is that I've never encountered a parish church that does this and wonder if it wasn't always, in practice, confined to religious communities.

The broader question, then, must be whether it is feasible to attempt to comply with Fortescue's instructions. I do wonder whether an excessively strict serious of requirements for the celebration of a high mass was one of the reasons why, in the Anglophone world at least, high masses seem to have been so rare in the Roman Church before the Second Vatican Council and continue to be rare amongst traditionalist groups (one acquaintance of mine acidly suggested that the Latin Mass Society might better be called 'the Low Mass Society', because of their fondness for that modern and highly simplified service!).

*Well, actually, he was a lesser prelate invested with the insignia of a greater prelate for this occasion by the permission of the (somewhat confused) ordinary.

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Oblatus
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The practice in our sacristy seems to be to refer to Fortescue (one of the recent reprints of the latest edition) and then decide what our version of Fortescue's instructions will look like. For simple answers, we tend to do what Fortescue says, but for the plan of a special liturgy, Fortescue is read and then adapted.

This is mainly because Fortescue is writing with a different liturgical text in mind, so we adapt it to the one we're using. We'd have to do this with Dearmer, too, if we used him instead.

The result is that visitors often marvel that what they're seeing appears rather Tridentine-ish but if they close their eyes it sounds BCP 1979 Rite II with some Rite I sung bits.

I should look up the books-never-have-their-backs-to-the-Blessed-Sacrament rule in Fortescue. Can't believe I haven't done that yet.

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Angloid
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quote:
Originally posted by (S)pike couchant:
As a general rule, whenever I have a role in planning services, I try to stick as closely as possible to the first edition (1918) of Fortescue's 'Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described'. I think that a strict and peculiar observation of every detail contained therein is the best way of avoiding the liturgical rot that has set in the ensuing decades. It irked me to discover, therefore, that, during a recent service of vespers of the BVM in the presence of a greater prelate*, the crucifix laid out for the bishop to kiss was not covered by a white cloth, as Fortescue says that it should be.

[Killing me]
South Coast Kevin: I think I might join your church if I had to put up with this.

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Edgeman
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In the U.S. among Roman Catholics, I would say not in the least. I'm too young to have experienced things as they were but I have many friends and acquaintances who have explained to me how the liturgy usually was in this city, and outside of about six places I know on the top of my head, high masses were three times a year and rarely according to the rubrics.

One friend noted that she had never seen the bishop received at the church door or going to pray before the blessed sacrament the way we do, despite the fact that that was required. Another notes English hymns at high masses.

I've been asked to come up with a liturgical customary for solemn masses at my parish (for the novus ordo) it's half Fortescue and half General Instruction of the Roman Missal. I have no idea how it will be received.

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(S)pike couchant
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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
quote:
Originally posted by (S)pike couchant:
As a general rule, whenever I have a role in planning services, I try to stick as closely as possible to the first edition (1918) of Fortescue's 'Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described'. I think that a strict and peculiar observation of every detail contained therein is the best way of avoiding the liturgical rot that has set in the ensuing decades. It irked me to discover, therefore, that, during a recent service of vespers of the BVM in the presence of a greater prelate*, the crucifix laid out for the bishop to kiss was not covered by a white cloth, as Fortescue says that it should be.

[Killing me]
South Coast Kevin: I think I might join your church if I had to put up with this.

I suppose that serves me right for attempting to start a thread that deviates from the 'Modern Catholic' consensus of Ecclesiantics?

quote:
Originally posted by Edgeman:


I've been asked to come up with a liturgical customary for solemn masses at my parish (for the novus ordo) it's half Fortescue and half General Instruction of the Roman Missal. I have no idea how it will be received.

That sounds really interesting. Let us know how it goes.

[ 23. August 2012, 17:19: Message edited by: (S)pike couchant ]

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Edgeman
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(For those interested, the liturgical customary is Here and Here.)

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South Coast Kevin
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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
[Killing me]
South Coast Kevin: I think I might join your church if I had to put up with this.

Ha ha, much lol! [Big Grin]

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georgiaboy
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quote:
Originally posted by Oblatus:
The practice in our sacristy seems to be to refer to Fortescue (one of the recent reprints of the latest edition) and then decide what our version of Fortescue's instructions will look like. For simple answers, we tend to do what Fortescue says, but for the plan of a special liturgy, Fortescue is read and then adapted.

This is mainly because Fortescue is writing with a different liturgical text in mind, so we adapt it to the one we're using. We'd have to do this with Dearmer, too, if we used him instead.

The result is that visitors often marvel that what they're seeing appears rather Tridentine-ish but if they close their eyes it sounds BCP 1979 Rite II with some Rite I sung bits.

I should look up the books-never-have-their-backs-to-the-Blessed-Sacrament rule in Fortescue. Can't believe I haven't done that yet.

Referring to my own copy of Fortescue (12th ed., 1962), I find:
In the directions for Low Mass, he says that the missal is on its stand or cushion 'with its edges towards the cross.'
In the directions for High Mass, he directs that the missal is open 'to the introit of the day.'
He directs that the book (or books) for epistle and gospel are on the credence, but says nothing that I can find about how they are placed.
He sometimes seems to indicate that epistle and gospel are in the same book, and sometimes in separate volumes.
BTW, for Low Mass he says that it 'is the more correct procedure' for the server to carry the missal when entering.
Older versions of Fortescue may have had different instructions.

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Mamacita

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quote:
Originally posted by (S)pike couchant:
I suppose that serves me right for attempting to start a thread that deviates from the 'Modern Catholic' consensus of Ecclesiantics?

Were you under the impression that there is an Official Ecclesiantical Point of View? Or that the variety of people who post here agree on everything?* Sheesh, even the Anglo-Catholics don't agree on everything.


* [Killing me]

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Bishops Finger
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Natheless, it is both Seemly and Edifying to the Faithful for ritual - however simple, complex, or just plain weird - to at least be carried out properly (i.e. with people looking as if they know what they are supposed to be doing).

We do rather minimalist liturgy at our place these days ('twas not always so), but at least it's done well.....

.....I hope.

Ian J.

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Enoch
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(S)pike Couchant, perhaps your bishop doesn't know as much about liturgical propriety as you do, perhaps he has been reading a different edition, or perhaps he is exercising his episcopal charism tactfully to suggest to you that there just might be other things that are more important.

I think humility might oblige you to give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume it is the latter.

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(S)pike couchant
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quote:
Originally posted by Mamacita:
quote:
Originally posted by (S)pike couchant:
I suppose that serves me right for attempting to start a thread that deviates from the 'Modern Catholic' consensus of Ecclesiantics?

Were you under the impression that there is an Official Ecclesiantical Point of View? Or that the variety of people who post here agree on everything?* Sheesh, even the Anglo-Catholics don't agree on everything.


* [Killing me]

I'm under the impression that it's usually possible to predict the response to any post about vaguely traditional Anglo-Catholic worship from the usual suspects. It's generally somewhere between condescension and consternation.

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(S)pike couchant
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
(S)pike Couchant, perhaps your bishop doesn't know as much about liturgical propriety as you do, perhaps he has been reading a different edition, or perhaps he is exercising his episcopal charism tactfully to suggest to you that there just might be other things that are more important.

I think humility might oblige you to give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume it is the latter.

??? The bishop isn't in charge of laying things out before a service (although this particular bishop, who is quite liturgically aware did specify that he wanted to be greeted in the usual manner, giving us plenty of notice so that we could borrow the cappa magna, a garment that we sadly do not have in our usual collection).

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'Still the towers of Trebizond, the fabled city, shimmer on the far horizon, gated and walled' but Bize her yer Trabzon.

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Angloid
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I can't believe the normally sensible people on this thread who can't see that this is a windup.

Or if it's not, the answer to the question 'where has the anglo-catholic sense of fun' gone, would be 'the same direction as its sense of proportion.'

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Edgeman
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quote:
Originally posted by Oblatus:


This is mainly because Fortescue is writing with a different liturgical text in mind, so we adapt it to the one we're using. We'd have to do this with Dearmer, too, if we used him instead.


I beleive this is basically what the Canons Regular of St.John Cantius do, as well as the Oratorians at the Brompton and Birmingham Oratories. Unfortunately, I've never had a chance to see an entire mass there and likely never will, but I do wonder how their customaries compare to others.

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The Silent Acolyte

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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
I can't believe the normally sensible people on this thread who can't see that this is a windup.

Ya think? Did we have to read as far as this choice tidbit; or, were there earlier clues?
quote:
...the fact is that I've never encountered a parish church [in which "Terce is sung immediately before mass and Sext immediately afterward"]...

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Mr. Rob
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quote:
Originally posted by (S)pike couchant:

... My question, though, is this: has Fortescue ever been followed to the letter anywhere in the world?

Why don't you research that question and then come back and tell us the answer?
*

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(S)pike couchant
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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Rob:
quote:
Originally posted by (S)pike couchant:

... My question, though, is this: has Fortescue ever been followed to the letter anywhere in the world?

Why don't you research that question and then come back and tell us the answer?
*

That's a difficult thing to do. Many churches claim to be following Fortescue, and do indeed follow his advice on many issues, whilst also differing on many other issues. Even S. Magnus the Martyr and S. Clement's, Philadelphia don't follow Fortescue to the letter (something that I'm sure they'd be willing to admit). All Ss, Margaret Street used to be famous for having 'choreography by Fortescue', but I suspect that was always rather liberally interpreted and has certainly been interpreted very broadly in the past thirty or forty years.

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sebby
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Fortescue does contain some very sensible material that OUGHT to be followed to the letter.

One of the rubrics, to take a single example, refers to a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites stating that it is strictly forbidden to genuflect on top of a ladder.

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Angloid
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quote:
Originally posted by sebby:
Fortescue does contain some very sensible material that OUGHT to be followed to the letter.

One of the rubrics, to take a single example, refers to a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites stating that it is strictly forbidden to genuflect on top of a ladder.

[Killing me]

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Bishops Finger
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At which point two things become (even more) obvious i.e. viz.

1. This thread is a wind-up;
2. It is a rather odiferous wind-up.

I leave Eccles denizens to work out where the odour is coming from......

Ian J.

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(S)pike couchant
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
At which point two things become (even more) obvious i.e. viz.

1. This thread is a wind-up;
2. It is a rather odiferous wind-up.

I leave Eccles denizens to work out where the odour is coming from......

Ian J.

I assure that it is most certainly not. I find it a bit surprising, and saddening, that all manner of questions related to the most markedly evangelical forms of worship are encouraged, but that any question about traditional Anglo-Catholic liturgies is treated as a 'wind up'.

I recognize that not all parishes have solemn vespers of the BVM in the presence of a greater prelate, but surely such things full under the remit of this board, just as much as do Evangelical and MotR practices?

[ 24. August 2012, 13:48: Message edited by: (S)pike couchant ]

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seasick

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Ok. Let's get some perspective.

1. There is space for discussion of all traditions in Ecclesiantics. We don't persecute threads of any tradition. I've seen complaints about persecution of Evangelicals and persecution of Catholics but I think this is the first time I've seen a complaint about persecution of Anglo-Catholics.

2. (S)pike Couchant: I'm sure you're aware and were when you wrote the OP that the answer to your question is "Almost certainly not." That may be why many people feel the thread is a bit of a wind-up. If you're genuine with the denizens, they'll be genuine with you.

3. Lay off the junior hosting, people! If you think a thread is a wind-up, the best thing to do is not to post on it. In general, if you have concerns about something, PMing a host is the best way of seeking to address it.

For the moment, I am leaving this thread open. I suggest that discussion be on the topic of the use and adaptation of Fortescue and other liturgical guides for local parishes. My finger is hovering over the close button though, so you had all better behave.

seasick, sitting on his hostly faldstool

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Oblatus
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I think that in our shack, where Fortescue gets consulted and followed more closely than at other times is when we need to remind ourselves of what is omitted or done differently in a Solemn Requiem: censings omitted, a bit of the Ecce Agnus Dei omitted, what exactly is done at the catafalque and when, etc.
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At my Scot-Catholic shack we have an Elder named Angus Day!

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Angloid
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Thanks, seasick, for your wise advice. Can I just ask a question: never having had occasion to consult the Blessed Fortescue, I don't know the answer. But do any of his directions have any relevance [a] to the modern Roman Rite; [b] to traditional Anglican rites such as the BCP; or [c] to any other modern Anglican, or other, rites in current use? If not, I fail to see that his book is of any concern to other than users of Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

One of the criticisms of such books as Ritual Notes, AIUI, is that it tried to apply the ceremonial of one rite (the pre-Vatican 2 Roman Rite) to the celebration of another (the BCP and its kindred Anglican liturgies. That made for an awkward fit, rather like a badly-dubbed film from a foreign language. Trying to apply the directives of Fortescue to the BCP is one step further back than that.

The virtue of the Blessed Percy's Parson's Handbook, for all its idiosyncrasies, was that it took as its starting point the Anglican rite and its rubrics, and only looked to pre-Reformation usage when the former was ambiguous or silent.

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venbede
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I was told by a priest who trained at St Stephen's House in the 70s, that the then principal had Fortescue removed from the library there. "You're training to be priests, not servers," he is supposed to have remarked.

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Oblatus
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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
The virtue of the Blessed Percy's Parson's Handbook, for all its idiosyncrasies, was that it took as its starting point the Anglican rite and its rubrics, and only looked to pre-Reformation usage when the former was ambiguous or silent.

Agreed, and I imagine that were Blessed Percy here to help us apply his Handbook to our churches and liturgies (CW, BCP79 Rite II, etc.), he'd take a red pen and cross out some major bits and rewrite others and would be only too glad to work with freestanding altars. He'd basically make a new edition of his book to go with current liturgies and wouldn't want us to force the old editions on those liturgies without major revision.
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The Silent Acolyte

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quote:
Originally posted by sebby:
One of the [Fortsecue] rubrics, to take a single example, refers to a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites stating that it is strictly forbidden to genuflect on top of a ladder.

I don't think it unreasonable to do a Snopes check here.

sebby, can you kindly provide us with the cite?

There are certainly enough copies of Fortescue—in all his editions—proximate to the eyeballs viewing this thread to be able to appreciate an edition-page-footnote reference.
quote:
Originally posted by venbede:
I was told by a priest who trained at St Stephen's House in the 70s, that the then principal had Fortescue removed from the library there. "You're training to be priests, not servers," he is supposed to have remarked.

Yup. That sounds like the know-nothing '70s. What is old and what is new? Bosh! "Michno ought to be good enough for you lot."
quote:
Angloid asks:
...I fail to see that [Fortescue's] book is of any concern to other than users of Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

What Oblatus tells is the answer to your question. His answer can be extended to other ceremonies, for example, the blessing of the font at baptisms and the Paschal Vigil, the blessing of the Paschal fire, translation of the MBS on Maundy Thursday, etc, etc.

[ 24. August 2012, 16:48: Message edited by: The Silent Acolyte ]

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
One of the criticisms of such books as Ritual Notes, AIUI, is that it tried to apply the ceremonial of one rite (the pre-Vatican 2 Roman Rite) to the celebration of another (the BCP and its kindred Anglican liturgies. That made for an awkward fit, rather like a badly-dubbed film from a foreign language.

Good description.

I still place my vote with the exercise of episcopal charism (see above).

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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seasick

...over the edge
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quote:
Originally posted by The Silent Acolyte:
quote:
Originally posted by sebby:
One of the [Fortsecue] rubrics, to take a single example, refers to a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites stating that it is strictly forbidden to genuflect on top of a ladder.

I don't think it unreasonable to do a Snopes check here.

sebby, can you kindly provide us with the cite?

There are certainly enough copies of Fortescue—in all his editions—proximate to the eyeballs viewing this thread to be able to appreciate an edition-page-footnote reference.

In the 2nd and revised edition, 1919, on page 243, footnote 1 reads as follows:
"Ritus serv., p14, § 6. It is impossible to genuflect on the top of a ladder. If a ladder is used, he must first come down, then genuflect on the ground."

Genuflecting on ladders is, of course, never seen in any of the churches in which I serve. [Big Grin]

[ 24. August 2012, 17:05: Message edited by: seasick ]

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We believe there is, and always was, in every Christian Church, ... an outward priesthood, ordained by Jesus Christ, and an outward sacrifice offered therein. - John Wesley

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venbede
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I got to know and love catholic worship after Vatican II at the sort of churches which would have used Fortescue in the past and were then applying GIRM to Series 3, to its great improvement.

As a result of that mindset, we were already using the 3 year lectionary and avoiding the awful 2 year themes.

If you are going for an old fashioned 3 sacred ministers/altar against the wall show, you might as well have a look at Fortescue first before making any decision.

--------------------
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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seasick

...over the edge
# 48

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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Thanks, seasick, for your wise advice. Can I just ask a question: never having had occasion to consult the Blessed Fortescue, I don't know the answer. But do any of his directions have any relevance [a] to the modern Roman Rite; [b] to traditional Anglican rites such as the BCP; or [c] to any other modern Anglican, or other, rites in current use? If not, I fail to see that his book is of any concern to other than users of Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

In my opinion, it would have no direct relevance to any rite other than the Tridentine. I think there may be slight differences of detail between his directions and the rubrics which apply to celebrations of the Extraordinary Form today, but I have no idea what they might be. If you happened to be in an Anglican parish, for example, that celebrated High Mass according to CW Order 1 say then I think there probably isn't a liturgical guide which addresses that. I can see in that situation that reference to works like Fortescue or the Parson's Handbook or whatever may give a starting point from which to adapt.

Many of the liturgies in the Methodist Worship Book owe a great debt to those of the (modern) Roman Rite. For that reason when planning, I often consult Elliott and the Roman Missal itself but only to give me a broader picture of where everything's coming from. In that light we decide what we're actually going to do.

So I suppose I say I think they are relevant for some parishes - depending what kind of worship they're trying to offer - but you won't see me worrying about white cloths on crucifixes any time soon.

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We believe there is, and always was, in every Christian Church, ... an outward priesthood, ordained by Jesus Christ, and an outward sacrifice offered therein. - John Wesley

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Basilica
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# 16965

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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Thanks, seasick, for your wise advice. Can I just ask a question: never having had occasion to consult the Blessed Fortescue, I don't know the answer. But do any of his directions have any relevance [a] to the modern Roman Rite; [b] to traditional Anglican rites such as the BCP; or [c] to any other modern Anglican, or other, rites in current use? If not, I fail to see that his book is of any concern to other than users of Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

No, there is no reference to anything other than the Tridentine Rite.

But for me, that doesn't stop it being useful, illustrative and informative. The Tridentine Rite is the historic norm for the Latin Rite Church for the last four and a half centuries. I am an Anglican who believes that the Church of England is a (separated) part of the Latin Rite Church, so obviously its normative liturgy will have significant importance in my understanding of the liturgies that my church employs.

If said church were to provide a comprehensive manual for the liturgy, I would wholeheartedly use that. As it doesn't, I don't think it's unreasonable to look to the Tridentine Rite for guidance.

Which brings me on to...

quote:
One of the criticisms of such books as Ritual Notes, AIUI, is that it tried to apply the ceremonial of one rite (the pre-Vatican 2 Roman Rite) to the celebration of another (the BCP and its kindred Anglican liturgies. That made for an awkward fit, rather like a badly-dubbed film from a foreign language. Trying to apply the directives of Fortescue to the BCP is one step further back than that.
This is less problematic, of course, when using a liturgy like Common Worship Order One, which generally follows a similar structure to the Roman orders.

But in any case, the key thing is that we shouldn't apply the ceremonial according to Fortescue to a foreign liturgy where it creates liturgical dissonance. Instead, we can use the Tridentine ceremonial to inform the development of our own liturgy. In that way it is possible to do justice both to liturgical aesthetics and to our liturgical heritage.

Of course, the key thing is that this use is sensitive. If you're going to do the dubbing, as your analogy has it, it needs to be done well.

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leo
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# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by (S)pike couchant:
instructions for a Pontifical High Mass require the presence not only of 15 servers (which shouldn't pose a difficulty for any healthy parish) but also no fewer than five priests, all of whom must be canons. He then assumes that there are additional clergy in quire,

I wouldn't regard any parish as 'healthy' if it was so obsessed with ceremonial and, probably, not at all interested in social justice issues.

I wouldn't regard any diocese as healthy if it made 5 people canons, all from the same church.

This diocese has a lot of women canons and also lay canons. does Fortescue allow for them? Assuming he doesn't, does he have any relevance whatsoever to the missional priorities of the 21st century Church in a post-Christian landscape?

BTW I would love the OPer to invite Bishop Pete, from these boards to the ceremonies described and for me to do a MW report.

Or, better, to invite one of those bishops who always dresses in rochet and chimere.

--------------------
My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Thurible
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by (S)pike couchant:
instructions for a Pontifical High Mass require the presence not only of 15 servers (which shouldn't pose a difficulty for any healthy parish) but also no fewer than five priests, all of whom must be canons. He then assumes that there are additional clergy in quire,

I wouldn't regard any parish as 'healthy' if it was so obsessed with ceremonial and, probably, not at all interested in social justice issues.

"So obsessed" as to do what? In what way does a Pontifical High Mass, if that's the sort of thing, indicate they're not at all interested in social justice issues?

As to your point about canons, it's remarkable how, sometimes, priests from other churches come together - especially for, say, a Deanery Service.

My parish doesn't use Fortescue, despite our slightly old-fashioned leanings, but to suggest that those that do are necessarily obsessed by ceremonial, ignoring the realities of day to day life, and the needs of their parish is, well, bollocks.

Thurible

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"I've been baptised not lobotomised."

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Sarum Sleuth
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# 162

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One of the criticisms of the Parson's Handbook made by Dom Anslem Hughes was that it had fallen into the hands of cathedral clergy for whom it was not intended. He was strangely silent on Fortescue falling into the hands of Anglican clergy, who were hardly it's target audience.

SS

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The Parson's Handbook contains much excellent advice, which, if it were more generally followed, would bring some order and reasonableness into the amazing vagaries of Anglican Ritualism. Adrian Fortescue

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IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
# 8700

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quote:
Originally posted by seasick:
In the 2nd and revised edition, 1919, on page 243, footnote 1 reads as follows:
"Ritus serv., p14, § 6. It is impossible to genuflect on the top of a ladder. If a ladder is used, he must first come down, then genuflect on the ground."

Thanks for my new sig. [Smile]

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

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venbede
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# 16669

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As a member of the Alcuin Club, I was sent an excellent guide to ceremonial, Celebrating the Eucharist by Benjamin Gordon-Taylor and Simon Jones, (SPCK 2005). As a back pew liturgist, I have no opportunity to use its sensible suggestions, but I'm happy to recommend it to those who have some say in the arrangements of public worship.

--------------------
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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(S)pike couchant
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quote:
Originally posted by Thurible:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by (S)pike couchant:
instructions for a Pontifical High Mass require the presence not only of 15 servers (which shouldn't pose a difficulty for any healthy parish) but also no fewer than five priests, all of whom must be canons. He then assumes that there are additional clergy in quire,

I wouldn't regard any parish as 'healthy' if it was so obsessed with ceremonial and, probably, not at all interested in social justice issues.

"So obsessed" as to do what? In what way does a Pontifical High Mass, if that's the sort of thing, indicate they're not at all interested in social justice issues?

...

My parish doesn't use Fortescue, despite our
slightly old-fashioned leanings, but to suggest that those that do are necessarily obsessed by ceremonial, ignoring the realities of day to day life, and the needs of their parish is, well, bollocks.



Hear bloody hear!

quote:
Originally posted by Thurible:


As to your point about canons, it's remarkable how, sometimes, priests from other churches come together - especially for, say, a Deanery Service.


Well, yes, but I think it would still be difficult to find five canons. It's not hard to find five (or more) priests for, say, a patronal festival, but the vast majority of priests are not canons. Even the Precentor of Norwich can't be assist at every major liturgical function in the Anglophone world, try as he might.

[ 24. August 2012, 22:06: Message edited by: (S)pike couchant ]

--------------------
'Still the towers of Trebizond, the fabled city, shimmer on the far horizon, gated and walled' but Bize her yer Trabzon.

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Ariston
Insane Unicorn
# 10894

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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
quote:
Originally posted by seasick:
In the 2nd and revised edition, 1919, on page 243, footnote 1 reads as follows:
"Ritus serv., p14, § 6. It is impossible to genuflect on the top of a ladder. If a ladder is used, he must first come down, then genuflect on the ground."

Thanks for my new sig. [Smile]
There has to be a story here. I'm imagining a poor workman with more piety than sense working in some old Roman church, trying to get it fixed up in time for services, when the priest comes back from visiting the sick, with the MBS in hand—and, scene 2, we've cut to the same workman, this time being visited by the same priest as he recovers in a full body cast.

Or something like that.

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“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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(S)pike couchant
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quote:
Originally posted by Ariston:
quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
quote:
Originally posted by seasick:
In the 2nd and revised edition, 1919, on page 243, footnote 1 reads as follows:
"Ritus serv., p14, § 6. It is impossible to genuflect on the top of a ladder. If a ladder is used, he must first come down, then genuflect on the ground."

Thanks for my new sig. [Smile]
There has to be a story here. I'm imagining a poor workman with more piety than sense working in some old Roman church, trying to get it fixed up in time for services, when the priest comes back from visiting the sick, with the MBS in hand—and, scene 2, we've cut to the same workman, this time being visited by the same priest as he recovers in a full body cast.

Or something like that.

I believe it has something to do with the custom in some Continental churches of exposing the sacrament in a location high above the altar, thus requiring it to be placed there by a man on a ladder. In such circumstances, the normal mode of reverencing the Sanctissimum is not only impractical but also highly dangerous.

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'Still the towers of Trebizond, the fabled city, shimmer on the far horizon, gated and walled' but Bize her yer Trabzon.

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Oblatus
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quote:
Originally posted by (S)pike couchant:
I believe it has something to do with the custom in some Continental churches of exposing the sacrament in a location high above the altar, thus requiring it to be placed there by a man on a ladder. In such circumstances, the normal mode of reverencing the Sanctissimum is not only impractical but also highly dangerous.

A ladder is mentioned in the latest Fortescue/O'Connell (1996), but alas, no wonderful footnote about not genuflecting up there.
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Edgeman
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# 12867

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quote:
Originally posted by (S)pike couchant:
I believe it has something to do with the custom in some Continental churches of exposing the sacrament in a location high above the altar, thus requiring it to be placed there by a man on a ladder. In such circumstances, the normal mode of reverencing the Sanctissimum is not only impractical but also highly dangerous.

We do that at my parish during 40 hours devotion and vespers/benediction during advent and lent. The niche above the altar where the crucifix usually goes becomes the place of exposition. Two years ago during vespers one of the evenings during 40 hours, the officiant nearly did fall off the ladder while getting the monstrance down. Luckily, the MC caught him. [Ultra confused]

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Ceremoniar
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quote:
Originally posted by Oblatus:
A ladder is mentioned in the latest Fortescue/O'Connell (1996), but alas, no wonderful footnote about not genuflecting up there.

Just to keep the record accurate, there have been two more editions since the 1996, viz., in 2003 and 2009, the latter of which contains additional material. These editions are now Fortescue-O'Connell-Reid.
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venbede
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# 16669

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It's very sad that when there are plenty of members of the ship who do not accept the need for any liturgical approach whatever and mock the attempts, there is all this sniping about which guide to follow at all. It only supports that view.

Since a Methodist minister here very sensibly admits to consulting Roman guidelines, can we just accept there is nothing inherently frivolous, naughty or exotic in doing so?

Some Anglicans who press for Roman standards may indeed be all too frivolous, etc. But one of the most noted Anglican priests concerned with social justice (who leo admires much) was a stickler for current Roman guidelines and dismissed the work of the Alcuin Club as irrelevant.

--------------------
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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Arethosemyfeet
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Surely there is a fair distance between looking at guidelines and fussing about details that no-one who hasn't memorised those guidelines will notice?

I'm all for appropriate, reverent ceremony and ritual, but I'm not sure why it needs to precisely follow one or other particular historical record of one particular form of practice. The tradition from which the Anglican church arose was already distinct from that practice in Rome at the time of the reformation, and the liturgies have evolved differently in the intervening time.

I think, ultimately, the test of whether to try and push for a particular rule is two-fold.
1. Is there a theological or practical justification for the rule?
2. Will more people be uplifted by its following than are annoyed by you being fussy about it?

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Enoch
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# 14322

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quote:
Originally posted by Ariston:
There has to be a story here. I'm imagining a poor workman with more piety than sense working in some old Roman church, trying to get it fixed up in time for services, when the priest comes back from visiting the sick, with the MBS in hand—and, scene 2, we've cut to the same workman, this time being visited by the same priest as he recovers in a full body cast.

Surely the opportunity for a miracle in the hagiography of a minor saint.

Arethosemyfeet, I like your two tests, particularly the second.

--------------------
Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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venbede
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# 16669

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Leaving aside with relief the perennial questions of Anglican ceremonial, the OP does raise an interesting aspect of Roman Catholic practice:

quote:
Originally posted by Edgeman:
In the U.S. among Roman Catholics, I would say not in the least. .... in this city, and outside of about six places I know on the top of my head, high masses were three times a year and rarely according to the rubrics.

You often heard it complained that the new mass lacks dignity and mystery and is performed sloppily and so on.

But this supports what I have long suspected – the old mass was performed sloppily in any case. (Eammon Duffy in Faith of Our Fathers says that in his Irish home town, a priest could say low mass in twenty minutes.)

Once mass is in the vernacular the sloppiness becomes more apparent.

Does that support any RC experience?

--------------------
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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Bishops Finger
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Dunno about Mass in the vernacular breeding sloppiness - though it may well be that familiarity sometimes breeds, if not contempt, then carelessness.

We had a 1662 BCP Mass last Sunday afternoon, and people commented on how much they enjoyed it. Part of that might have been the extra care the priest and servers (perhaps subconsciously) put into it, simply because it's not what we usually do.

Ian J.

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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